Making Sustained, Not Rapid Progress

Army BagThe things which are immediately appealing and convenient in the short term are rarely the things which endure.

I do a lot of travelling every day, so my rucksack is a particularly vital piece of equipment. I’ve noticed over the years that although they may be made out of fantastically tough material, modern rucksacks tend to wear out fairly quickly with heavy use, because the zips break.

Zips are wonderfully convenient. In a second, you can seal up a bag or a pocket. Even a very young child can learn to use them with very little practice. They are one of the great inventions of modern engineering.

But they break. So I scratched my head over where I could find a durable, zipless bag. At first I looked at retro bags with string ties at the top, which are enjoying something of a renaissance. But they didn’t look tough enough.

Finally I found the solution: army surplus. I now travel with a Cold War era army bag. It has no zips. Apart from the rope tie at the top, it has metal fasteners that are bombproof.

At first it was difficult to make the transition. I missed the speed and convenience of zips. But with repeated practice every day, it soon became second nature. My army bag and I are now fully integrated, and ready for a lifetime of travelling. No more broken zips.

Once we shun convenient quick fixes and grapple with something durable, we reap long term benefits. So chuck out The Hunger Games and get reading classics with your year nine classes. It will be a struggle at first, but it will be well worth it in the long term.

(Image from Wikimedia).


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